Venue: Crown Inn, Tilberthwaite Avenue, Lake District, Coniston, LA21 8ED
Facebook Site: @crownconiston
Pie: Steak and Ale
Temperature as eaten: Hot
On a lovely autumn day last year, my wife and I decided to spend the weekend in the Lake District. It was at the end of the season, so the roads were reasonably quiet and we had a very pleasant drive to our destination. On our way there we called at a place I’ve been meaning to visit for some time, The Crown Inn at Coniston.
The Crown Inn has a reputation far and wide for tasty food and a variety of well-kept real ales, so my expectations were high. The menu is not massive, but does always include their specialty, the “Crown’s Steak and Ale Pie”, served with chips, seasonal vegetables and gravy, all for the princely sum of £13.50 (price may change of course).
Now, I’ve been told that to be able to indulge in the Crown’s Steak and Ale Pie that you have to arrive by midday or at the very latest 1pm so popular is this menu item. I have to confirm that even though the pub wasn’t quite full when we arrived (we were in the pub area, not the dining room restaurant), the Steak and Ale dishes were already flying out of the kitchen at a regular rate. A good sign I thought to myself. So we grabbed a table and decided on our meal, mine was an obvious choice. I ordered our food at the bar and sat down at our table. Sipping a delightful pint of Bluebird Bitter I waited in anticipation of my meal.
I didn’t have long to wait, maybe 15 minutes, before my pie arrived on a large white oblong plate. As you can see from the pictures this was a deep slice of pie from a large pie tin with a pastry top, bottom and sides. It looked very appetising, lots of meat in the filling along with a small amount of carrot and onion and a deep, rich tasting ale-based sauce. The pastry was buttery and melted in the mouth with the filling, there was no chewiness, fat or gristle, it was a well prepared, cooked, seasoned and tasty Steak and Ale pie. The veg were fresh, cooked to perfection and the chips were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside as they should be. It was a great meal, and yes, I did finish the full plate, though my wife did help by pinching a few of the chips.
The staff were helpful, chatty, friendly and very busy. I was nearly persuaded by one to try the sticky toffee pudding which is also a speciality of the establishment, but I had to decline due to the rather large main course. Still, maybe if I’d been out walking all day rather than sat in the car driving I would have indulged……….. maybe.
I’ll definitely stop off at the Crown Inn at Coniston again when I’m travelling to, or through the Lake District. I’ll also make sure I arrive on time for lunch. The Steak and Ale Pie had run out and was no longer available by the time we left the pub at about 2pm. Or maybe I’ll take the opportunity to stay there for a day or two as they have bedrooms to rent and it’s very handy for some great walks and other attractions in the district. Either way I’ll be having the pie and perhaps, I’ll be tempted to have the sticky toffee pudding too.
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